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Mai is a bright and friendly 10-year-old girl from Cambodia who needs $444 to fund surgery to separate fused digits on her hands and feet.

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October 7, 2022

Mai is a bright and friendly 10-year-old student. She is in grade two and has an older brother and a younger sister. Her brother is a taxi driver and her sister is a student in grade one. Her father is a farmer and her mother works in a brick kiln firing pottery. In the future, Mai would like to be a nurse.

Mai was born with syndactyly of both of her hands and her feet. This means that she has three digits on each hand and foot that are fused together. She has difficulty using her hand for writing or carrying objects, and cannot wear shoes She is embarrassed about how her hands and feet look and suffers from a lack of peer acceptance.

Fortunately, on October 7th, surgeons will perform a syndactyly repair procedure to separate and release the fused digits. Our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre, is requesting $444 to fund this procedure. After surgery, she will be able to use her hand easily and her self-esteem will improve.

Her mother said: “My child has had this condition since birth. We have not been able to take her to a hospital because we are financially struggling from the pandemic. I hope that the doctors can fix her hands and feet soon so she will look like other children.”

Mai is a bright and friendly 10-year-old student. She is in grade two and has an older brother and a younger sister. Her brother is a taxi ...

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Mai's Timeline

  • October 7, 2022

    Mai was submitted by Sieng Heng at Children's Surgical Centre.

  • October 7, 2022

    Mai was scheduled to receive treatment at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre in Cambodia. Medical partners often provide care to patients accepted by Watsi before those patients are fully funded, operating under the guarantee that the cost of care will be paid for by donors.

  • October 10, 2022

    Mai's profile was published to start raising funds.


    Mai is currently raising funds for her treatment.

  • TBD

    Awaiting Mai's treatment update from Children's Surgical Centre.

Funded by 4 donors

Funded by 4 donors

Syndactyly Repair
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $444 for Mai's treatment
Hospital Fees
Medical Staff
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

​What kinds of symptoms do patients experience before receiving treatment?

Patients have webbed fingers or toes, or several of their digits are completely fused together.

​What is the impact on patients’ lives of living with these conditions?

Patients often have difficulty grasping objects and using their hands or feet. In addition, many patients feel uncomfortable about the appearance of the condition.

What cultural or regional factors affect the treatment of these conditions?

This condition may be caused by increased exposure to chemicals. According to local doctors, the proportion of babies born with disabilities and congenital deformities in eastern Cambodia (bordering Vietnam) is more than 50 times higher than in other parts of the country. Though the reason for the higher rate has not officially been confirmed, it is generally thought to result from the use of Agent Orange, a dioxin-containing defoliant, by U.S. forces during the Vietnam War.

  • Process
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Risks and side-effects
  • Accessibility
  • Alternatives

What does the treatment process look like?

A z-plasty surgery is performed to separate the skin between the digits. Because the circumference of the conjoined fingers is smaller than the circumference of the separated fingers, new skin is brought into the area by a skin graft.

What is the impact of this treatment on the patient’s life?

Patients will experience improved mobility and function, reduced pain, and increased self-esteem and confidence.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

The treatment usually results in a good outcome. If a patient’s condition is particularly difficult, surgeries are scheduled during visits by hand specialists from Singapore and Hong Kong. In addition, our medical partner belongs to a hand and upper limb-specific telemedicine group. A network of specialists from around the world can offer opinions about difficult cases.

How accessible is treatment in the area? What is the typical journey like for a patient to receive care?

The healthcare system in Cambodia is underdeveloped. Cambodians rely on government hospitals, which are often ill-equipped and lack capacity and expertise for standard surgical care.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

There is no alternative.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.